19 Thoughtful One-Year Anniversary Gift Ideas For Spouses & Partners
If you're coming up on a one-year anniversary, congratulations! And what better way to celebrate your first year of marriage with your spouse (or first year with a committed partner) than with a thoughtful gift to commemorate how far you've come so far? Gift-giving is an art, so to get you inspired, we rounded up 19 great gifts—including paper gifts, nonmaterial options, and more—for husbands, wives, and spouses, or whoever the special someone is in your life.
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Does the one-year anniversary have a theme?
Wedding anniversary gifts traditionally have different themes based on the number of years the couple has been together. The idea is that the material of the gifts becomes stronger each year. The first anniversary, for example, is paper, while the 25th year is silver, and the 50th, gold.
Another theme sometimes associated with first anniversaries is clocks, which symbolize the passage of time. But if neither paper nor a clock feels fitting, you certainly don't have to stick to themed gifts.
Tips to keep in mind:
Make it meaningful.
When thinking about what you want to give your partner for your anniversary, licensed marriage and family therapist Holly Richmond, Ph.D., LMFT, CST, tells mbg you want to focus on the meaning of the gift first and foremost.
"Gift-giving can be really special, even if it's not one of your love languages," she says, adding, "the thing people care about is the meaning behind it."
Know their love language.
Richmond notes that she does a lot of work with her clients around love languages and says that the concept can be a good stepping-off point to start thinking about what you'd like to get them. If they're big on quality time, for example, it might make more sense to gift them an experience you can do together rather than an expensive piece of jewelry.
"It's really about knowing your person," Richmond says. "So, is it time with you? Is it something you've made? Is it something only you know about them? The personal aspect of it just really makes us feel seen, heard, validated, and accepted for who we are."
Don't feel like you have to break the bank.
And lastly, Richmond says that you don't have to shell out big bucks to give your partner a great first anniversary gift. Rather than focusing on the price tag, focus on making it personal and special to them. "I find that meaningful, thoughtful, personalized gifts go so much further than an expensive gift," she says.
Paper gifts ideas:
1. A customized star map
this customizable star map from The Night Sky shows you what was in the stars on a specific day. For example, you can choose to commemorate the first night you met, your first date, or your first kiss with a map of what the sky looked like that night. Pretty romantic, huh?
Custom Star Map by The Night Sky, $65
2. A guided journal for couples
If you and your partner are reflective types, guided journals for couples can be a lot of fun to fill out together. This one by Phillip Keel includes questions about everything from romance to the life of your dreams so you and your partner can keep learning about each other.
All About Us: Guided Journal by Phillip Keel, $11.99
3. A sentimental art print
If your partner is an art lover, any of their favorite pieces of art would make a great gift. Bonus points if it's a romantic print, such as "The Kiss," a famously lovey-dovey painting by Gustav Klimt.
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, $41.99
4. A wedding album
If you haven't already compiled all your favorite wedding photos into a scrapbook or album, this one by Your Perfect Day was designed by wedding experts and includes room for over 200 photos. It makes a great gift, and you and your spouse can reminisce together one year from the day. (You can also try a DIY version if you're particularly crafty.)
Wedding Photo Album by Your Perfect Day, $61.99
5. "Paper" jewelry
Who says the paper gift has to be all paper? With these necklaces by Paper Anniversary, you're able to memorialize your special day by putting your vows right in the jewelry. The company also has other options for this, including personalized maps, bottle openers, and more.
Necklace with Vows by Paper Anniversary, $109
6. A book subscription
For the reading lovers, what better way to support their inner bookworm than with a book subscription? This one by Book of the Month will bring them, you guessed it, a new book every month for a year—that they get to pick.
Monthly book subscription by Book of the Month, $12.50 to $16.67
7. Sheet music
Many couples have "their song," or perhaps a first dance song from a wedding, and your first anniversary offers a great opportunity to put it to paper. The company Amourprints offers gorgeous sheet music with a photo of you and your spouse overlaid that you can display in your home.
Custom Couple Sheet Music Wall Art by Amourprints, $40
Meaningful gifts ideas:
A love letter
Sticking with the paper theme, a love letter is a sweet and sentimental way to let your spouse know how much they mean to you. This is a great option if you're on a budget or if you simply want to express your love in a different way than usual.
An act of service
Is your partner's love language acts of service? If so, your first anniversary is the perfect time to go above and beyond for them. Maybe there's a big household project they've been wanting to tackle that you take care of for them. Or perhaps they have a favorite fancy meal, and you whip it up for your anniversary dinner while they get to relax. Bonus points if you coordinate any and all logistics related to getting the kids to the babysitter's place.
Tickets to a special event
For the couples who prefer doing things over collecting things, tickets to an event you know your partner will love is a great gift that, in a way, fits the paper theme, too. From concerts to plays to museum exhibition openings, the options are endless—and offer a chance for your two to bond over a special experience.
A National Parks pass
For the nature lover, show them you care with a National Parks pass. This annual pass gives you access to over 2,000 different national parks and recreational lands for the entire year, and it covers everything from entrance and amenity fees to vehicle fees. It rings in at $80, which if you're a forest frequenter, will pay for itself in no time.
DIY relationship "coupons"
Another sweet and budget-friendly option, consider making a booklet of DIY "coupons" for your partner. The best part about making your own "coupons" is you can completely customize them. You could have some for chores (i.e., "Redeem this coupon to have the laundry done for you for a week"), some for sentimental value (i.e., "One free huge hug"), and even some that are a bit spicier (i.e., "Redeem to try something new in the bedroom").
A fun class or membership
If your partner has a particular hobby, passion, or interest, now's a great time to let them dive in even more with a class or membership. Yoga lovers will swoon over a 10-class pass to their favorite study. Artists would adore a chance to attend a pottery class. A cooking class would be tons of fun for the kitchen veterans. There are tons of options here!
If you and your spouse could use a getaway, let your first anniversary be an excuse to take one. Depending on your budget, you could fly to far-off places—but don't underestimate the power of an intimate weekend getaway in a quiet nearby town or even a staycation right where you already are.
Intimate gift ideas
15. The And
16. The Adventure Challenge
Whether you're looking for date inspo or your partner's love language is quality time, this book by The Adventure Challenge is full of surprise adventure ideas that you can't see until you scratch them off. The catch is, once you scratch it off, you have to do it! Let the spontaneity ensue.
The Adventure Challenge: Couples Edition, by The Adventure Challenge, $32.99
17. An inspiringly sexy book
This steamy book by Nerve is perfect for couples looking to explore in the bedroom. It includes just about any and every sex position you can imagine, and the best part is, there's a position for every day. Safe to say you'll have fun making it to your second anniversary.
Position of the Day: Sex Every Day in Every Way from Nerve.com, $9.95
18. A massage candle
Is it getting hot in here, or is it just that new massage candle? But really, with this heavenly scented candle designed specifically for massages by Maude, you can incorporate temperature play and aromatherapy into the bedroom all while spoiling your partner with a luxurious massage. Add in some body massage or intimacy oils if you really want to create a vibe.
Burn no. 0 Massage Candle by Maude, $25
19. A sex toy
There are plenty of sex toys for couples to explore, and this one by Lovehoney is a great and versatile option. It helps with blood flow to the penis, which can aid in maintaining an erection, offers clitoral stimulation, and even incorporates vibration for both partners.
Bionic Bullet 5 Function Vibrating Cock Ring by Lovehoney, $24.99
The bottom line.
No matter what you decide to give your spouse on your first anniversary, a personal and meaningful gift can go a long way in showing you understand them. Because at the end of the day, it's not so much about the gift itself but what it says about your connection and how much you care.
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Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.